EV’s Cost over time

Is this a mirror of Electrek? I’m not keeping a German sedan for 200,000 miles. But let’s humor this article. Supposing you drive 10,000 miles a year, that’s $15k over 20 years… Less than $1k/year for people who can afford ~$40k vehicles today? Are they ignoring inflation? Time value of money? They focus on ‘saving $15k’ but ignore the time span of 20 years. Taking their Model 3 vs A4 example, if you put that extra $2k up front in some sort of investment that earns a modest 8%, you’d be very far ahead after 20 years. And then they talk about (early) depreciation… any average car approaches 0 value after 20 years. The study also assumes minimal use of charging stations (from 70 to 94% of charging done at home). The residual argument is pretty weak to begin with, by the way.

Also consider that tax credits for hybrids/EVs will go to 0 over time as well.
Teslas also aren’t kind to tires, which aren’t cheap. Bad alignment from the factory also helps chew through the first set quickly.

If you can do all your charging at home, great. If you use charging stations frequently, time is money. The free Chevy Bolt is one thing, but trying to gargle Tesla nuts with this kind of shit is pathetic.

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Yes, make that investment in JCP.
I’m so fricking tired of know it alls talking about an 8% return like it’s something guaranteed.
If you don’t think evs are cheaper then it’s because you have 0 experience with them. My eGolf is by far the cheapest car I’ve ever had…the Clarity PHEV is close behind. You talk about the ev credits like they should not be part of the calcs but your imaginary market return is real…lol…the lengths some go to escape reality.


I mean, if you put it in a normal index fund ETF like SPY or QQQ, you will make at least 8% annually after inflation if your investment timeline is at least 5-10 years.

I agree, My Bolt is the cheapest car I’ve ever had. An effective $42/mo sign and drive lease is probably hard to beat with any conventional car. I’m sure I’ll save money on maintenance as well. That being said, I don’t think that a Tesla will work out cheaper in the long term, and if it does, it will be insignificant.

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People that say this probably never looked at market history too close. There were instances when if you invested at the top it took to 20-30 years to recover. Anyway, all this is beyond the point as i think you can do both…save on your car and invest in the market…it doesn’t have to be one or the other.


Don’t play with stocks if you don’t know what you’re doing. Choose professionally-managed investments; 8% is a realistic return from ETFs or mutual funds. The better-performing ones do better, and the point stands even with the average 6-7% return.

If you want to make an issue of factors that aren’t “guaranteed,” then consider this section from the report:

CR’s fueling cost model assumes a $3.02-per-gallon price over the next decade, based on Department of Energy projections, but fuel prices can change quickly, as seen when the nationwide average spiked to the $4-per-gallon range several times in the wake of the 2008 to 2009 recession. A price spike further increases an EV’s fueling cost advantage. CR also looked at the effect of long-term lower gas prices on consumer savings. Utilizing the DOE’s low gas price scenario—which assumes an average price of $2.33 per gallon over the next 10 years—consumers are still expected to save many thousands of dollars over a typical ownership period, or most of the savings CR projected.

Sam Abuelsamid, the principal research analyst for Guidehouse Insights, a firm that tracks automotive industry trends, noted that at national average prices for electricity, most consumers would come out ahead with an EV, although not necessarily by all that much, depending on the model.

“Bottom line, at current gas prices, the argument for operating-cost savings is complicated if you are comparing similar-sized vehicles with some of the more efficient powertrain options,” he says. “If we tax fuel more heavily, it would definitely tilt the equation in the direction of the EV.”

And another idea to consider:
“EVs depreciated at something like $5700 a year in 2017 and, in 2016, five-year-old Nissan Leaf EVs were selling at around 11 percent of their original sticker price. Things aren’t much better in 2020. According to numbers from a July study on three-year-old cars by iSeeCars, the average depreciation of all EVs coming off leases it looked at was 52 percent.” (https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a33935142/tesla-model-3-depreciate-electric-car/)

EVs can be cheaper compared to similar cars. That’s a fair and valid statement. I did say “the free Chevy Bolt is one thing,” but the Model 3 vs A4 comparison is really stupid. Who’s keeping a new luxury car for 20 years? You would just drive beater Corollas into the ground if you really wanted to save money on cars. The point becomes moot if you are changing cars within 5 years, like many luxury car buyers do. The CR report is sensible enough, as is promoting EVs. The article you linked is just not good, though.

Not that I care to do the math, but don’t forget capital gains tax in the rate of return scenario for investments.

All points here are valid. There’s an opportunity cost for everything. Personally I find articles like these to be more click-bait than anything - Nobody sits back years from now, breaks down the cost “savings” over those 200,000 miles and goes to their bank account to appreciate that extra $15,000. These articles speak of this like it’s the same as someone getting a check for $15k years later. I think the number of people that drive a car to 200,000 miles via normal driving and long-term ownership is less common than one might think. And the people buying luxury cars and Tesla’s aren’t the type of people that care to own a car that long. I’m generalizing, I know…exceptions and all that…blah blah blah. Still…you can’t buy the base Model 3 - they just really aren’t making them or at least aren’t available readily. I argue if you’re getting a Tesla, it’s probably more like $50,000+.

At the end of the day, ignoring subsidies and depreciation, a $40,000 EV vs. a $40,000 ICE-V should come down to fuel costs and maintenance. There are a ton of rabbit holes to jump down…time spent charging vs. refueling, cost of charger installation, infrastructure for refueling/recharging, etc.

I have an EV for one reason: my lease was coming up and the Bolt deal was by far cheaper than anything else, even after considering the cost of getting a Level 2 charger at home. I looked at used cars, cheap new cars at 0% APR, cheap leases, etc. The nearest I found (aside from a $5k beater), was a lease around $225/mo.


This has ben discussed many times but for some reason people are bad with numbers and/or can’t comprehend simple math. When you have $10k in credits on that new Leaf what you expect it’s lease end value be? You are not paying that $10k so you need to add that to the value and then calculate the depreciation. And picking the lamest ev to prove a point on depreciation…I don’t know why I bother…

On the gas savings debate…that ended in CA long ago (where most evs are)…there are places in US where one can have a point in saying evs are not proving an edge. Some things can be done to control your ev fuel prices…home solar locks in prices which is what i done some years back. One thing I didn’t anticipate was the willingness of employers to provide free charging. Our evs rarely charge at home these days. Serious advantages that gassers will never match…if they did i would be driving them instead.

Time spent charging is 0 if you have a home. Personally, i get home or to work, plug in and charge…ok, so i guess 10 seconds then.
Cost of charger is close to 0 considering the fed credit (and some state credits).
The infrastructure is the one aspect i would say needs improvement.

You may have bought your ev this time for one reason but i bet the next one you will get will be for more than one reason…been there, done that.

T has a 7% dividend, where’s the risk unless you’re expecting people to stop buying mobile phone plans?

I don’t care if the savings is only $2,000 to be honest.
I’ve had my Model 3 for almost 3 years and the next dollar I spend on it will be my first.
Since I have solar at home I charge for next to nothing.
If you try really hard maybe you can find a coal powered car.

Not if your 10 year timeline is 2000 to 2010.


Yeah I agree, I was talking about road trips and stuff where filling a gas tank takes no time vs DCFC on an EV. I don’t even bother going down all these paths, though, because this is something you accept as part of owning an EV. Where do you draw the line? How much value do you put on the wear and tear saved on your ankle with one-pedal driving vs going back and forth to the brake and gas pedal?!! How much is my health impacted by breathing in fumes at a gas station? What kind of dollar amount do I give to not having to deal with a mechanic up-selling me when I go in for an oil change…“Sir, we recommend a fuel injection cleaning additive for the low price of $340593. Don’t worry, we topped all your fluids off free of charge.”

All sarcasm aside, I don’t think people are jumping on the EV bandwagon to save money (unless the car is just cheaper than anything else at the time…Like the Bolt currently.)

Sanchez Energy had 30% div at one point…do you really want me to show you the skeletons i have in my market investing closet? Seriously, the market needs a nasty correction so people stop talking about it this much. T has a big div BECAUSE of the risk it’s exposed to (debt) not because it’s a safe investment…a own shares of this turd.

I have a small sample but everyone i know that has an ev they made the move because they wanted to save money…and they are.

If you don’t understand the difference between a gigantic telecomm with ample cash reserves and a fracking exploration company…lol

Also no, T is not cheap due to debt. VZ has more debt and ia almost double the cost(60% the dividend). And we literally just had a huge correction.

T is a great stock. But ATT has the unique ability to light money on fire in the media space for no clear reason. They massively screwed up the Direct Tv acquisition. They shouldn’t have bought HBO. They make tons of money off telecom. Why do they want to be a media firm?

Tbf they’ve been trying to get rid of directv, and at the end of the day the business still mints money and their price to book is very attractive compared to competitors like VZ and TMUS.

T sells at a huge discount purely because investors don’t believe in their management.

What does any of this have to do with EV cost over time?